Jayne Lansdell, Associate Director, gives a glimpse into a new programme we’re developing at BGL Tech, using the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI).
There are a number of ways that BGL is applying AI across the business. I'd like to talk you through just one of the cases we're working up and piloting...
This is our Digital Voice programme, which aims to expand the services customers can access over the phone, but which can be delivered in a fully or semi-automated way using AI applications such as speech recognition and smart data driven-personalisation.
Over the past few years, the market leaders in voice recognition have advanced and brought to the market some of the applications we, as consumers, are all familiar with. Alexa and her Google cousins are owned by 1 in 6 adults across the UK, boosted by massive uptake over the recent Christmas period. We’re all getting used to voice authentication when calling our banks and other service suppliers, who use intelligent biometric applications to match our voice patterns and provide a depth of security before allowing us to move money around. This, in turn, is rapidly reducing the level of fraud being carried out over the phone.
So what are we doing in BGL?
For five years or so, we have used voice recognition as part of our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, allowing customers to have their name and account number validated and sent to a Customer Service Representative before carrying out the business they had called for.
In addition, by using the same technology we have enabled customers to make payments or order documents over the phone without the need to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
How does Digital Voice fit?
We are picking up the next generation of AI to take this to the next level. Digital Voice aims to design customer conversations, making it easier for customers to make changes to their policies without needing to speak to a Customer Service Representative. It does this by first learning the intent of the conversations from all the call data and live experiences we have coming into the contact centre every day. This huge amount of data underpins effective AI. BGL has a strong track record in effective use of data and access to a vast amount of data with which to work.
Once the intents are understood, we can then design conversations to get the information needed in a way which makes it simple for customers. A key challenge in designing these services is that we need to ensure our customers have confidence their request is really being dealt with. So we will be linking services into applications like SMS, emails and other embedded messaging applications to provide visual confirmation of the changes requested.
The responses will work in a similar way to those of our online virtual assistants, Becky and her friends (they’ll just be speaking the responses). We will be working with our in-house customer experts in BGL Customer Services to train this new cohort of virtual agents and new roles will evolve across the business to ensure we continue to evaluate, optimise and train these agents as we would our Customer Service Representatives.
We’re designing and testing this right now to make sure we get it right and I am already looking forward to seeing how it progresses over the coming months.
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